Top take outs from the Mobile Marketing Association Forum

The agenda for the Mobile Marketing Association Forum 2016 was action packed with an array of industry professionals and thought leaders, including Brand Learning, providing perspectives on the vital role of mobile in the customer experience.

As the attention space of a goldfish apparently now surpasses ours, we summarise the top take outs below. This may take a little longer than 8 seconds but bear with us:

1) Customer obsession is key

The single biggest point of agreement was the need to know your target customer better than everyone else. As we all work to build meaningful customer relationships we need to understand the customer journey and find ways to be fast, be relevant and be in the moment. Hilton has obsessively mapped the likes and dislikes of their customers to the point that can now have the guest’s preferred drink ready and waiting for them on arrival in their room. Guests can also track the progress of their room service – making an informed decision on whether or not they have time for a quick shower before dinner arrives!

2) Start with a small bet and make sure you win 

At the start of a mission to secure investment, choose something relatively small that you know will succeed and execute it brilliantly to build internal confidence. Ensure the necessary measurement is in place to support your success story. The Asda mobile app started life as a simple barcode scanner function that allowed shoppers to auto-add new items to their weekly saved shop and proved so successful the app has expanded into areas such as live local petrol price tracking and recipe inspiration.

3) Be prepared to collaborate. 

Things are moving at such pace that it won’t make sense to do everything in-house and partnering may be the only way to bring something to market in the moment. As Sarah Ellis explained in a panel session hosted by Brand Learning, businesses like Sainsbury’s are already collaborating with mobile partners, such as OLIO to battle waste via their ‘waste less, save more’ campaign. WeChat use an array of partners to enable their 1billion users to hail taxis, access fitness trackers, book a doctor’s appointment, pay the water bill…the list goes on

4) How can we “take things off the thinking list”?
We are reaching a tipping point for digitisation, where even a hotel door can be unlocked via a mobile. If a door can be digital, then what else? How can technology flex to respond to customer needs and change our lives through a plethora of smaller, faster, flatter interactions that think and act on our behalf? Imagine T shirts that can assess blood pressure, connected to coffee machines that will suggest the decaf option.

5) Expand your competition
I’m sure you can reel off your direct competitors. You might also be able to talk with some conviction about your experiential competitors, but what about your perceptual competitors? Customers have expectations that are being ever increased by perceptual competitors, raising the bar for customer experience. If your car is due for servicing by BMW, then soon after you have taken it to the garage they will send you a video of the mechanic walking around the car and showing you what needs to be done. If brands are shifting customer expectations, then take note…it will impact you

6) Empowered customers need empowered marketers
Mobile experiences need to be evolved, absorbing customer sentiment, and modifying interactions based on customers’ attitudes to their experiences. The Where Next app from Heineken does just this, giving consumers real-time recommendations of where to go based on social media data from the users' location and how much they rate it. The app constantly reviews fresh data and changes its recommendations based on people’s emotions and experiences.

7) Mobile is most effective
Apparently some of us would rather take a device on holiday than our partner! Most people certainly spend more time with their mobile. This helps explain the findings of research by the MMA and Coca Cola (in relation to their recent ‘Choose’ campaign), that mobile has 1.5x the impact of display. The recommendation: ensure a double digit inclusion of mobile as a percentage of your marketing mix, and be sure to build your capabilities in mobile.

8) Behaviour over messaging?
With the launch of screenless devices such as Amazon Echo, could a zero user interface be the future? We may need to start redefining the role for voice enabled platforms and the way in which we generate customer insights and solutions aligned to real customer behaviours. Will we have to think about advertising to algorithms, as everything becomes connected?

9) Integrate, don’t isolate
A joined up, integrated marketing strategy is critical. Creating mobile strategy in isolation risks missing out on a bigger connection opportunity through the customer journey, letting technology not the customer, rule the roost. Take the IKEA AR app, it aligns to the offline catalogue and the customer’s home and then integrates with in-store collection.

In our session on the ‘Secrets of Growth Drivers’ we discussed the 7C hallmarks of Growth Ready organisations and the attributes that position them to make the most of mobile opportunities. Click here to find out more about how our digital team are helping clients to capitalise on these opportunities or take a look at our Growth Drivers Study to learn more about the 7C hallmarks.

BRAND LEARNING: Inspiring people. Lifting capabilities. Growing organisations.